13-year-old fires gun in school

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2000

The Associated Press


Tuesday, July 18, 2000

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RENTON, Wash. – A 13-year-old boy who students said had talked about killing a teacher climbed onto a cafeteria table and fired a shot into the ceiling at summer school Monday, prompting other youngsters to scatter and run. No one was injured.

The boy, who was dressed in black and had blond hair dyed blue at the ends, fled and was still at large hours later. Authorities Monday evening were scaling back a search for the youngster after focusing their efforts on the woods behind the Dimmitt Middle School in this Seattle suburb.

”There’s only so much area we can search,” Sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart said. ”After that, you can’t send people searching Seattle willy-nilly. We’ll wait for a hard lead.”

Urquhart said the boy was still believed to be carrying a handgun. The gun apparently belonged to the boy’s grandmother, KIRO-TV reported Monday evening.

Urquhart said the boy got on a table and shot a round into the ceiling. He ordered the other students to get on the stage in the cafeteria, but they scattered and ran, Urquhart said.

Roughly 200 students were in the school at the time. Sheriff’s deputies urged them to gather outside so they could be accounted for.

Cylas Sampson, 13, said he was sitting with a group of friends in the cafeteria and had called the boy over to sit with them.

”He said, ‘You don’t have to worry about school anymore. Today’s your last day of school,”’ Cylas said.

Brittany Lamb, 14, was sitting at same table as the boy when he stood up and fired the shot. ”He put the gun right up to my face and he said, ‘I’m going to kill you if you don’t get up on the stage.’ I was frozen. I could not move at all,” Brittany said.

A teacher shouted to the boy that police were coming and the boy swore and ran, Brittany said.

Cylas and other students said the boy frequently talked about wanting to kill a particular teacher. ”He wanted to kill all the teachers, but he only wanted to kill a few students,” Cylas said.

Jonathan Carpenter, 10, said he was sitting in the cafeteria, playing with friends when he heard the gunshot.

”I just ran. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know what was going on,” the fifth-grader said.

School spokesman Peter Daniels said authorities had received no previous warnings about the boy. ”Generally, the kids have been really good about helping us to identify problems,” he said.